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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

PI factor, a novel type quorum-sensing inducer elicits pimaricin production in Streptomyces natalensis.

A chemically novel autoinducer (PI factor) has been purified from cultures of the pimaricin producer Streptomyces natalensis ATCC27448. The chemical structure of the PI molecule was identified as 2,3-diamino-2,3-bis (hydroxymethyl)-1,4-butanediol. Pimaricin biosynthesis in S. natalensis npi287, a mutant impaired in pimaricin production, was restored by supplementation with either A-factor from Streptomyces griseus IFO13350 or with PI factor. S. natalensis did not synthesize A-factor. The PI autoinducer was active at very low concentrations (50-350 nm). A threshold level of 50 nm was required to observe the induction effect. The dose-response curve was typical of a quorum-sensing type mechanism. The biosynthesis of PI factor was associated with cell growth of S. natalensis, both in defined and complex media. Supplementation of the wild-type S. natalensis with pure PI (300 nm) resulted in a stimulation of 33% of the production of pimaricin. These results indicate that the endogenous synthesis of PI factor is limiting for pimaricin biosynthesis in the wild-type strain. This water-soluble PI factor belongs to a novel class of autoinducers in Streptomyces species different from the classical butyrolactone autoinducers. Because restoration of pimaricin production in the npi287 mutant is conferred by both A-factor and PI factor, S. natalensis appears to be able to integrate different quorum signals from actinomycetes.[1]


  1. PI factor, a novel type quorum-sensing inducer elicits pimaricin production in Streptomyces natalensis. Recio, E., Colinas, A., Rumbero, A., Aparicio, J.F., Martín, J.F. J. Biol. Chem. (2004) [Pubmed]
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